Formula 1 – Driver Quotes From Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying

May 22, 2011

Formula 1

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Red Bull Racing

Sebastian Vettel

 

“We can’t speak of disappointment, at the end of the day we made a good step forward. Barcelona is the place where everyone brings a lot of new parts and you’re here to find out if they all work. I think we made a step, so did the others, but it looks as though we like this track and our cars feel comfortable here. Looking to qualifying, I didn’t get into the rhythm immediately, so it was not the smoothest run, but I made it on the primes. In Q2 I felt much happier on the soft compound tyres, but unfortunately in the last qualifying I lost a little bit too much and I wasn’t entirely happy with my lap. Mark did a good lap and a better job today. Let’s see tomorrow, it’s a long race and we saved a set of tyres. I think we will be on top of KERS for the race, the guys are pushing hard and we have proved our car has become quicker, so big compliments to the aero guys in the factory and everyone here. We are working hard on KERS. I didn’t have it in Q2 or Q3 today, but I‘m sure we will have it tomorrow for the race.”

 

Mark Webber

 

“It was a good session. It was clear going into qualifying that we might have had a bit of a margin and would be battling for pole between ourselves today. You can never underestimate these guys though. We got through Q1 on the first set of hard tyres, which was good, and then in the crucial part of qualifying –in Q3 – it was just about getting the lap right. The lap was pretty good and I was just praying that my number went to the top when I crossed the line. It was a nice lap, a good battle with Seb and today was my day.”

 

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

 

Jenson Button

 

“I feel that I did a good lap, so I’m happy with that; my car got better and better throughout the session – I was only three-hundredths slower than Lewis. I was a bit unlucky not to be third, then Fernando got between us as well, so you can see how close it is out there. One major positive is that, like Lewis, I’ll be starting on the clean side of the grid. Another is that, also like Lewis, I’ve got two sets of [Option] tyres that have only done one lap and another set that’s brand new – that’s going to be key tomorrow. Having your tyres in good condition makes such a difference – so I think we’re looking in very good shape. There’s a big difference between the Option and the Prime here, so there’ll be some different strategies tomorrow. We’ll be looking at the strategy tonight and I’m sure we can make the harder tyre work for us too.”

 

Lewis Hamilton

 

“The Red Bulls look very strong, but I’m going to do everything I can to jump at least one – if not both – of them at the start. I hope I can attack tomorrow. When you start from the clean side of the grid, you automatically have a much better opportunity of getting a good start – and, this year, I’ve usually been on the dirty side, so tomorrow will be a bit of a bonus for me. Third on the grid is actually a perfect position – because, if you get a good start, you can slipstream the guys in front. My aim is to be P1 by Turn One! It doesn’t normally go that way, but as long as I don’t go backwards I’ll be happy. When you’re trying to eke every last drop out of the car, you sometimes lock the front wheels – and that’s just what happened on my final lap. While the flat-spot to the front-left doesn’t look perfect, we’ll manage it by rebalancing the wheels, so it’ll be fine. We’ve definitely made an improvement this weekend. We’ll keep pushing: we don’t give up, and with the DRS we should see some good racing tomorrow.”

 

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

 

Fernando Alonso

 

“I did a perfect lap: I reckon that if I tried to repeat it twenty times, I could not do better! When you do a lap like that it’s hard to put into words what one feels: always being on the limit, in every corner is a really special feeling for a driver. I am very happy with this result, because we have never made it to the second row this year. Sure, pole position is still a long way off: today, Red Bull was once again out of reach and we must work hard to try and get closer. This morning we ran some set-up changes on the car that did not produce the results we were expecting, also partly down to the conditions changing in terms of wind direction. We went back to what we had before for qualifying and instantly it was better. In general, we have made a step forward in performance terms, thanks to the updates we have brought here. So far, in the races we have gone better than in qualifying and so I think we can be in the fight for the podium. It will be tough at the start because the McLarens always get off the line well and then they have one more new set of soft tyres than we do.”

 

Felipe Massa

 

“This was definitely not the qualifying performance we were expecting, but all weekend long we have struggled with the balance of the car: we would have needed to be perfect to start a bit further up the order and that was not the case. Let’s hope that, on full tanks, the car works better and then we can see if we can get a good result. On a track like this it will not be easy to manage the tyres in the best way nor to find the best possible strategy. In Q2 we decided to stay in the garage, running the risk of not getting any further, because it would not have made much sense making the cut and then finding ourselves in Q3 without any new tyres: the outcome proved us right, even if we had hoped to make a better job of that opportunity. It is clear we suffer more than the others on the hard tyres. Overtaking? We will definitely see more than in the past at a circuit like this and that will mainly be down to tyre degradation”

 

Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team

 

Michael Schumacher

 

“Unfortunately in Q3, my KERS system did not work but we reacted in the best possible way. We took the decision to go out on prime tyres to be able to react if other cars did the same. As no-one did, we came in without setting a time so we can now choose our strategy for tomorrow. I will certainly try to have another of the good starts that I have made recently, make up some positions right at the beginning, and take it from there. With DRS and KERS, overtaking is possible even in Barcelona, so it is important to use your tyres well, and I still have a set of fresh tyres left. I will definitely try to make the best out of it.”

 

Nico Rosberg

 

“With our focus on the race pace this weekend, it was to be expected that we might suffer a little in Qualifying. However I am not too disappointed with seventh place as we should be stronger in the race tomorrow, and I believe we can aim to be better than in Istanbul. I have one set of new tyres left which is good for us, and I hope that we can move up with the right strategy.”

 

Lotus Renault GP

 

Nick Heidfeld

 

“It was a challenging day, and there was not much more we could have done after the exhaust problem this morning. The was a small hole in the right exhaust and then it overheated. Then, when I heard a strange noise, the power cut out and there were flames so I had to stop. Since then, the team worked flat out to try and get me out for the qualifying session, but it was not to be. At least I managed to get a couple of laps on the hard tyres today, and during the race tomorrow I will need to push hard to make up some ground and get up the order.”

 

Vitaly Petrov

 

“We have got to be happy with the result. The team made a big improvement today, and the result of my car reflects that. Things felt good, the balance of the car was fine and I was able to put in a fast time in Q3 to ensure that we got the car in a good position on the grid. I knew what we had to do today, and did it so I am pleased and looking forward to tomorrow. It should be another action packed race and strategy will be very important.”

 

AT&T Williams

 

Rubens Barrichello

 

“I knew we had a gearbox problem as soon as I went out in Q1 as it felt strange. I think there is a big positive in saving a set of tyres, which is one way of looking at it, but having seen where Pastor finished, we could also have had a good shot inside the top ten. I will be pushing to be there tomorrow.”

 

Pastor Maldonado

 

“I am really happy for the team and all the guys. We’ve tried really hard to find a good balance all weekend. Yesterday’s practice, particularly the first session, was really difficult for me. The car wasn’t great so we took a bit of a risk and decided to run the new rear wing in qualifying. The car seems more competitive, but we still need to keep pushing and improve. I am happy today.”

 

Force India Formula One Team

 

Adrian Sutil

 

“We switched back to our traditional aero package this morning because we didn’t really have enough time to understand all the new parts that we brought here. So we went back to a package and balance that we were already happy with. We also know that qualifying is not as important as it used to be and that race strategy now plays a bigger factor in your race result. That’s why we only ran the prime tyres during Q2 so that we could keep some new option tyres for the race. We feel this is the best approach for tomorrow and hopefully it will pay us back.”

 

Paul Di Resta

 

“I don’t think our position on the grid is that representative of our true pace this weekend. We took the decision very early on that saving tyres for the race would free up our strategy a bit. That means I’ve got two sets of new options and a set of new primes to use tomorrow. On paper that looks like the sensible approach so hopefully things will work out. How we use the tyres is also important because there’s a big difference between the two compounds in terms of pace. Also, the prime being used here is much harder than usual and so it lasts a bit longer. I’m looking forward to the race and I’m sure we can come away with a better result than our qualifying performance.”

 

Sauber F1 Team

 

Sergio Pérez

 

“I had no particular problems on my last lap, but it wasn’t good. Being 12th  isn’t too bad and I’m very positive for the race, but my run with the new tyres today didn’t work out. This is a shame because I’m happy with the car and this is crucial for tomorrow’s race. Compared to this morning, we have made a lot of set up changes and they work.”

 

Kamui Kobayashi

 

“On my last lap, when I was on new soft tyres, a Force India was in trouble in front of me, he made a mistake in turn ten and that was it for me. It is a shame because our new aero package is working well. We have clearly made progress and the car was definitely good enough for a place in the top ten. However, for the race we should be okay and dealing with the super hard tyres will be tricky for everyone.”

 

 

 

Scuderia Toro Rosso

 

Jaime Alguersuari

 

“The car worked well in the high speed section of the circuit, but in the slow ones, I did not have a good feel for the car, so we need to look at the data to see how to improve the car in Sector 3 before tomorrow’s race. Overall, I am pleased for the team because the result for both of us is good and I think we can run a competitive race. We can expect a three pit stop strategy, because Pirelli’s new Prime is harder than it was before. I am looking forward to having a good race at my home circuit.”

 

Sebastien Buemi

 

“I am very happy with this eleventh place. We finished ahead of the Saubers and Force India and when you consider that as planned I will have some new parts for the next race, it is also a very good sign for Monaco. On top of that we have saved an extra set of new soft tyres for the race, because we opted not to try a second run in Q2, so at the moment everything is looking good. In some ways, it is better to be eleventh than tenth, because if I had made it to Q3, we would probably have gone out and used another set of tyres, but this way, I am on the clean side of the track with one set extra.”

 

Team Lotus

 

Heikki Kovalainen

 

“This is obviously a great day for Team Lotus and I want to thank everyone here and back at the factory for working so hard to get us to this next step in our story. There is a lot more to come from this car and while we have performed really well today we can see that we can keep progressing and taking the fight to the cars around us on merit. With the work we did overnight and in FP3 I can feel that we have found a much better balance in the high-speed corners, and we can work more on how it feels in the low speed corners which is where I think we will find even more time, but for now this is a good feeling and puts us into a good position for the race tomorrow.”

 

Jarno Trulli

 

“First I want to congratulate to the whole team for getting Heikki into Q2. That’s a great achievement for us and a sign of what’s to come. For me the session was interrupted by what looks like an electrical issue that meant I was stuck in second gear when I went out for my first run, but we changed the steering wheel and I managed to get a lap in right in the last few seconds that still put me ahead of Rubens, so we’ll start tomorrow from 18th and with the pace we have in the car in race conditions I think we’ll have a good afternoon. “

 

Marussia Virgin Racing

 

Timo Glock

 

“I think we had a good qualifying today. We had a bit of trouble with the first set of tyres as they didn’t work as they should and I was a little worried. The second lap was pretty spot on I have to say, although I made a small mistake in turn 7 as I was pushing so hard. We spent pretty much the whole of Friday not being able to concentrate on set-up and it’s been quite hard to get the old package working well again. We tried our best this morning and in the end it wasn’t too bad in qualifying. Now we have to focus on the race and just stay positive as we chip away at improving the car step by step.”

 

Jérôme D’Ambrosio

 

“It wasn’t such a smooth day for me today. For some reason in the morning session we couldn’t find the same speed that we had yesterday and then in qualifying I only really had one lap because I had a hydraulic failure during my first run. But even though it wasn’t the most straightforward session, the team did a great job to fix the car and we are in the race, so let’s see tomorrow.”

 

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